Tag Archives: connection

The Spaces We Occupy

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Castle sweet castle

Anyone who knows our family’s story knows we have spent the majority of our time unsettled and between spaces. It makes some people who hear about our lifestyle incredibly uncomfortable. So uncomfortable, in fact, that some people hesitate deepening their friendships with us because we are generally planning an exit of some sort.

I hear things like:

“You choose to live like that?”

“You are crazy!”

“I could never do that. It would feel too chaotic.”

I admit, there are parts of what we do for our family of 5.25 (yes, Dickens completely counts!) that are not comfortable. This year, as we camp out in a 45-foot bus I expect we’ll be stretched more than most summers. What I have learned over the years of chaos and disruption is that routine is something man has created to help himself to feel more secure in the world. My habit is to crave and create routines to make my space more comfortable. The reality is that LIFE REALLY HAPPENS when my routines are broken and God tends to lean more toward the disruption of routine to allow growth to happen.

About a week ago, I was living in our beautiful home where the kids each sleep in their own rooms and on their own beds. There are three bathrooms for the five of us and plenty of space to spread out. This morning I drank coffee with my husband on our bed in the back room of the bus, quietly used the bathroom that divides the two living spaces, and then tiptoed through the girls’ beds at the front of the bus to get the dog out for his morning walk. I trekked a few miles on the site grounds and meandered my way past our son’s new single-person apartment that is situated on the top of one of our booths. He spends his nights in his new mancave that is about 1/4 mile away from us. It is a new and temporary routine.

There has been a learning curve to our arrival this summer. It is not unlike other times we have traveled here for my husband’s job, but I am making a point this summer to document the things I learn along the way.

Some things I’ve learned this week:

I learned I need birds to watch out my window and hummingbirds eat a lot of food…once they find the source.

bird 1 bird 3 bird 5

I learned to cook pizza in a convection oven and how to cut a Papa Murphy’s pizza in half to fit. I learned how to anticipate the slow cooking of a hotplate and some new recipes for the grill. I discovered that with our current ampage I cannot run the A/C, dishwasher and a hairdryer at the same time. I learned that our bus camping is one of the nicest living arrangements on site and there really are people who live in tents…all year…and sometimes not because they choose to do it. I learned that the basic necessities of food, water, shelter, and clothing are enough. The luxuries are running water, a space to do laundry, a private toilet,  a shower, and mattresses up off the ground.

I reconfirmed that exercise in the natural surroundings of Colorado space is among my most favorite things to do in the world.

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I learned that it is not the space that someone occupies that makes my connection with them any less important. A friend of mine, who happens to be just as transient as I am, was in Colorado this past week to visit her family. She will occupy her mother’s space while she visits and we annually connect there or in any myriad of spaces in and around this part of Colorado. It is not the space, but the connection that matters. I confirmed that lesson when I crowded into a room (with more family members than were supposed to be permitted)  to visit my grandmother whose space is currently a hospital bed.

We can choose to spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over the spaces we occupy and the routines we can create there, or we can invest in how we connect and interact with the people who share our spaces.

***If you want to see some of the other pics from the week, I have a posted a slideshow on my website.***

Copyright 2015  Meagan Frank          Choosing to Grow

http://www.meaganfrank.com                                             

Where’d You Grow Wednesday?

January 18, 2012 Edition

Shore of Lake Superior in Duluth, MN

I grew excited about being a goalie’s mom.

Going to Duluth for hockey is not an unusual trip for me. Our oldest has had a tournament there at least once a year for the last four years.

What was different about this trip was the fact that this tournament was a girls’ hockey tournament…and the player in my room…well, she was the goalie.

I knew when our daughter expressed an interest in playing full-time goalie for her hockey team, it was going to be a growing experience for both of us. What I didn’t expect was what that growth would look and feel like. And I was especially unprepared for how much I would learn about her in the process.

Playing sports makes people vulnerable. If they play with every ounce of energy and emotion that they have, they leave the field, or the court, or the rink completely spent.

Playing goalie makes people even more vulnerable. It takes a special kind of character to put yourself on the line between the other team and the goal they are shooting toward.

It takes self-confidence, focus, fearlessness and strength.

I’m not a good goalie. My daughter…well, she is a good goalie.

It’s not just that she has some physical skill. What I learned about my daughter this weekend is that she has a focus and an intensity that keeps her present in a potentially stress-filled situation. She has a calm presence and a confidence I wasn’t even aware she had.

Here she is….the tiny little goalie at center-ice

She remained poised through the weekend, and I was fascinated watching this side of her emerge.

I loved too, the role I got to play as “Haley’s Mom.”

Because she has additional equipment to put on, I get to be in the locker-room with the team as they prep for practices and games. By the end of the weekend, the entire team would yell when I entered, “Hi, Haley’s mom!” and I would reply, “Hi, Haley’s teammates!”

I helped to tie player’s skates, pull on jerseys, tighten equipment and give fist bumps as they waited.  It was a connection to this special group of girls that I hadn’t anticipated…All because my daughter is the goalie.

Some additional fun photos of the girls:

Painting nails between games

Watching intermission entertainment at the U of M vs. UMD women's hockey game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other places of inspiration for growth I’ve found this week:

Mamawolfe shared yet another inspirational link about taking teenagers to a soup kitchen.

This video shows a birthday wish created by a woman’s dying husband. (get kleenex for this one) It’s a reminder to love completely, every chance you get.

Have any other inspirational growing stories you want to share? Email me the link or send me the photos of where you grow: You can email me  choosingtogrow@meaganfrank.com or post your story on my Facebook page.

Happy Growing!

To learn more about Meagan Frank, you can visit her at her website:  www.meaganfrank.com